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Cocktail bars?

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So, I'll be staying in Newport Beach this coming weekend and I'm looking for a place that is making some proper cocktails.

Preferably somewhere that's not just serving some sort of Appletini but doing the real thing. A real cocktail menu that's not just the sweet stuff (ie, they know what a Negroni is). Irvine or South Coast Metro or Costa Mesa is good too.

Thanks in advance!

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    1. re: Servorg

      Yeah, I read that thread but not a lot of answers and those are out of the area that I want to be in.

    2. Mesa in Costa Mesa. Just had a negroni there last week, with Death's Door gin and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth. The cocktail menu is pretty small, a couple vodka things, but they'll do whatever you want.

      I do not reccomend Charlie Palmer's bar. There is a facade of knowing how to make a proper drink, but the don't quite hit the mark.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jaykayen

        Sound advice! The fact they're using Death's Door is a good mark.

        I think the Negroni is the perfect test of a true, cocktail-loving bartender, don't you?

        1. re: atomicspin

          Heh, I don't think I can think of one perfect test! But the bartenders are very nice and accommodating to Scotch and Coke drinkers as well as those who drink Blood and Sands.

          The only thing is that they tend to use New Amsterdam gin, which is a bit too soft and light for me. I think I will start asking for Plymouth.

          1. re: jaykayen

            New Amsterdam is a great well gin. It's cheap and beats out most other gins in taste tests.

            However, I agree with you, it is soft. It's what I call a "crossover" gin. It's how you get vodka lovers to move on and start loving gin.

            Love Plymouth's fruitiness.

      2. Old money, old school:
        The Ritz at Fashion Island

        New wave old school:
        Pizzeria Ortica (So Coast Metro)
        Mastro's (ditto)
        Mesa (ditto)
        Habana (ditto)
        I happen to like CPalmer's lounge and think they pour a better than average drink.

        On PCH in Newport
        Three Thirty Three ( a bit of a scene)
        Sol Cocina (better than it sounds)
        Gulfstream (eding over to Corona del Mar)
        SideDoor (ditto)

        On PCH

        -----
        Habana
        2930 Bristol St Ste A110, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

        Pizzeria Ortica
        650 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

        Gulfstream
        10250 Santa Monica Blvd 656, Los Angeles, CA

        Mastros Restaurant
        2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

        Sol Cocina
        251 East Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663